Warning issued to British tourists over banned pain relief medication

British tourists travelling to a popular European destination have been warned about a pain relief medication that is banned in the UK.

Warned British banned pain relief medication
© Melany @ tuinfosalud.com / Unsplash
Warned British banned pain relief medication

When it comes to medication, you should always be careful and when in doubt about a certain type, consult either your GP or a pharmacist for advice. However, if you are travelling in a different country, this can be made difficult for several reasons, from different rules to the language barrier.

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Brits travelling to Spain have been warned about a certain pain relief medication that is commonly prescribed in the popular European country but recent findings suggest it could be dangerous for Brits to take it.

Due to recent deaths, one person has taken it upon themselves to launch a campaign against this medication to help raise awareness of the possible side effects and to help prevent even more fatalities.

A banned medication in the UK is commonly prescribed in Spain

As reported by Express, Spanish doctors commonly prescribe the pain relief drug metamizole, which is commonly sold under the brand Nolotil. This medication is banned in 40 countries, including the UK and is suspected to be linked to dozens of deaths among British tourists.

Metamizole can cause a condition called agranulocytosis, which depletes white blood cells, which can increase the risk of sepsis and even organ failure, in rare cases. It is feared that British tourists are more vulnerable to this risk.

Brits could be more vulnerable to metamizole

As per Express, a 2016 study allegedly found that Brits were ‘80 to 120’ more at risk of the drug than the Spanish but the study was never published. Experts have said that insufficient evidence has been gathered to support the theory and more research needs to be done.

However, Cristina Garcia del Campo, president of the Association for Drug Affected People (ADAF) and anti-Nolotil campaigner, has claimed to know of dozens of Brits who have died after being given metamizole since 2016.

One of the cases Del Campo talks about is Mark Brooks, who was given an injection of metamizole for shoulder pain but sadly died days after. His partner was able to obtain Mark’s medical records after his death and, as per The Guardian, the notes stated: ‘Apparent allergic reaction to metamizole’.

Del Campo has allegedly gathered evidence of over 100 cases of Brits who have suffered severe side effects from metamizole. However, according to her, only ‘weak recommendations’ were made and not enough has been done.

Read more:

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Actifed, Nurofen: French National Agency warns of health risks associated with these drugs

Sources used:

Express: ‘British tourists warned of 'killer pain relief' being used by doctors in Spain’

The Guardian: ‘Like a bad dream’: Briton’s death in Spain heightens fears about painkiller Nolotil’

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